Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yankees: Pain, Rain, and The Stain

Tuesday night's Spring-Winter schizophrenic rain/snow storm wiped out the Yankees first of two with the Chicago Cubs. A day-night doubleheader (really a pair of single games with different start times and an akward reference) is scheduled for today, Wednesday. If you can only make it to one, choose the 1:00 p.m. start. It's plenty cold out, but you will not be warm tonight.

Just like the weather, the Yankees have had some ups and downs the first month of the season. But after they took three of four from Boston, the semi-Bronx Bombers were tied for first place in the AL East with a 7-6 record. However, it hasn't come without a price.  Mark Teixeira got hurt about two seconds into the season and hopes to return from a hamstring injury on May 1.

Francisco Cervelli is well acquainted with the DL. He'll have plenty of time to treat his Grade-2 hamstring strain, after being placed on the 60-day DL for the injury he suffered Sunday night. It remains to be seen if the injury is that bad or if the Yankees just had to find a way of opening spots on the 40-man roster. John Ryan Murphy, formerly known as J.R. Murphy (against his will), was called up to back up Brian McCann. He should get the start in tonight's game.

In addition to Cervelli, Derek Jeter missed the last two games against Boston with a sore quad, Brian Roberts sat out with a sore lower back, and McCann took a Red Sox ricochet off his hand.

Tests came back negative on McCann and he's in the lineup for the first game on Wednesday. Jeter is not, but is expected to play the nightcap. Roberts has not been DL'ed, but is not expected to play at all today. Roberts told the media he could " if needed", but is on pain meds and Joe Girardi wants him to have additional rest. The Yankees brought up Scott Sizemore and he's got the start at third base this afternoon, while Yangervis Solarte will play second base. Dean Anna (shortstop) and Kelly Johnson (first base) fill out the rest of the infield.

David Robertson feels he is on track to return from the DL on April 22. Robertson has been sidelined with a strained groin since April 7. Shawn Kelley and David Phelps have picked up saves in his absence.

All eyes will be on Michael Pineda tonight, after he was accused by the media of using a substance on his pitching hand in his last start. Pineda had, what appeared to be, pine tar on his pitching hand for part of last Thursday's start against Boston. The substance disappeared after it was discussed on the game's broadcast.

The Red Sox made no accusations of cheating, primarily because their own pitcher that night, Clay Buchholz, has been rumored to use several substances during a game. With only circumstantial evidence, MLB decided not to mete out any punishment.

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